Washington: President Barack Obama on Thursday said
that the US has delivered justice to al Qaeda chief Osama bin
Laden and put his terror group on the path of defeat.
"We`ve decimated al Qaeda`s leadership, delivered justice
to Osama bin Laden, and put that terrorist network on the path
to defeat," Obama said in his rare appearance at the Pentagon,
the head office of the US department of Defense.
"We`ve made important progress in Afghanistan, and begun
a transition so Afghans can assume more responsibility. We
joined with allies and partners to protect the Libyan people
as they ended the regime of Muammar Gaddafi," he said, adding
that the US has now ended the war in Afghanistan.
"Now, we`re turning the page on a decade of war. Three
years ago, we had some 180,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Today, we`ve cut that number in half. And as the transition in
Afghanistan continues, more of our troops will continue to
come home. More broadly, around the globe we’ve strengthened
alliances, forged new partnerships, and served as a force for
universal rights and human dignity," Obama said.
"In short, we`ve succeeded in defending our nation,
taking the fight to our enemies, reducing the number of
Americans serving in harm`s way, and restoring America`s
global leadership. That makes us safer and it makes us
stronger. And that’s an achievement that every American and
every man and woman in uniform, can be proud of," he said.
This success has brought our nation, once more, to a
moment of transition, Obama said, adding that even as the US
troops continue to fight in Afghanistan, the tide of war is
"Even as our forces prevail in today`s missions, we have
the opportunity and the responsibility to look ahead to the
force we need for the future," he said.
Obama said over the past 10 years, since 9/11, US defense
budget grew at an extraordinary pace.
Over the next 10 years, the growth in the defense budget
will slow, but the fact of the matter is this - it will still
grow, because the US has global responsibilities that demand
"In fact, the defense budget will still be larger than it
was toward the end of the Bush Administration. And I firmly
believe, and I think the American people understand, that we
can keep our military strong and our nation secure with a
defense budget that continues to be larger than roughly the
next 10 countries combined," Obama said.